Wine aficionados are generally of the view that our locally produced chenin blanc and cabernet sauvignon wines can hold their own on the international stage. Another cultivar that’s starting to make inroads globally is South African shiraz (or syrah, as it’s called in France’s Rhône Valley). The general standard of local higher-end shiraz producers is indeed exceptional – a case in point being the Kleinood Tamboerskloof Syrah 2015.
Shiraz has undoubtedly gained in popularity with consumers in recent years. Wine critic and journalist Christiaan Eedes believes there are two reasons for this: shiraz is suited to a variety of growing conditions, and it responds well to a number of winemaking approaches. It can be produced in an overtly aromatic, lighter-bodied, yet grippy fashion, or it can be darker, full-fruited and smooth-textured.
Kleinood is a boutique farm on the Upper Blaauwklippen Road outside Stellenbosch with only 12 hectares of arable land, with renowned neighbouring estates such as Waterford and De Trafford. The owners purchased the farm in 2000, and started production in 2008.
The Tamboerskloof Syrah 2015 is a blend of 95% syrah, 4% mourvèdre and 1% viognier, and it certainly fits the mould of the fuller-bodied version of this cultivar. It was matured for 18 months in 300- and 500-litre French oak barrels, of which 15% new.
The nose is still very primary with a touch of reduction, followed by red berries, herbs – rosemary and lavender – and white pepper. The palate is clean and fresh with pure, concentrated fruit – cherry, plum, and cassis – with spicy flavours adding to the complexity. The tannins are fine and chalky, and contribute to a long and dry finish. Despite being full-bodied, this wine remains elegant, and will please consumers for several years to come.
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